As I read these two related articles about the costs associated with setting up DTC programs at wineries, I began to think of both the parallels and threats to retailers that DTC represents. [level-members]
First, there are quite a few vendors listed in the DTC Vendor Prism that can be useful for retailers, too. Social media management, email service providers, accounting software, and wine club tools are all useful for retailers and you should be using social, email, and accounting software at a bare minimum.
Looking at the costs Paul Mabray has laid out in the second article and two things jump out at me: first, small, independent retailers have no business in ecommerce. Maybe if you’ve got enough capital to think about opening a second shop (in states where that’s legal), you’ve got enough to invest in an ecommerce operation that stands a chance of success. Otherwise, you’re bringing a knive to a gun fight, even with Amazon currently (temporarily?) on the sidelines.
Second, the ratios hold. That is, if you scale down the numbers to fit retailers who have less foot traffic and fewer email subscribers, etc. you can still get a sense of what productive consumer outreach is likely to cost.
Having a sense of reasonable expectations is excellent information to have at hand as you ramp up or re-assess your own marketing. Even if you’ve grown your efforts grass-roots style, benchmarks can help guide your growth.